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Two Knights alone cannot force mate, unless, indeed, the adversary has a piece or Pawn on the board ; in which case, mate may be sometimes effected by a single Knight. This is beautifully illustrated by the following highly ingenious position by Herr Kling.
Black Pawn on Q Kt 4th.
1. P takes B 2. K to B sq
2. P to R 6th 3. Kt to B 2nd (ch)
3. K to R 7th 4. Kt to Q 4th
4. K to R 8th 5. K to B 2nd
5. K to R 7th (best) 6. Kt to K 2nd
6. K to R 8th 7. Kt to Q B sq
7. P to R 7th 8. Kt to Kt 3rd (mates)
KING AND PAWN AGAINST KING.
Generally speaking, the unaided King will draw against King and Pawn. The exceptions, however, to this are very numerous, as positions are of frequent occurrence where the player, with the superior force, can gain what is termed the “ Opposition," and so Queen his Pawn.
The Opposition. When the two Kings are opposite to each other, with but one square intervening, the player not having to move is said to have the Opposition; in other words, his opponent is compelled to move, and thus allow the adverse King to advance.
As the principle of the Opposition enters into every description of End Games, and is more especially important in Pawa play, we shall illustrate our remarks by one or two examples.
Black King on Q B sq. In the above position, White, with the move, wins by advancing the Pawn to Q B 7th. If, however, Black has the move, he draws the game by K to Kt sq., taking up the Opposition. If you reply with P to Q B 7th (ch.), he moves to his Bishop's square, and you must either abandon the Pawn, or give stalemate. Had the Pawn been one step less advancedi. e., on Q B 5th-White would win, whichever side had to moveme.g., if White moves, he plays K to Q B 6th, taking up the Opposition, and advancing to Kt 7th or Q7th, according to Black's play. If Black had the move, White would win by simply advancing the Pawn, play as he might.
Black King on Q 3rd. In this position, White, with the move, wins by playing K to Kt 4th. If, instead, he moves to R 4th or B 4th, Black replies with K to B 3rd, gaining the opposition, and drawing the game. If, on the contrary, Black have the move, he plays K to Q 4th, and draws.
From the above examples, we arrive at two general rules, which the student will do well to bear in mind :
1. If the player of the King and Pawn can post his King on the sixth square of the file on which his Pawn stands, he will win, either with or without the move, provided the Pawn cannot be immediately attacked.
2. If the Pawn, when supported by the King on the sixth square, can be advanced to the seventh square, without giving check, the King and Pawn win; if, however, the Pawn, when it arrives at the seventh square, gives check, the game must be drawn.
The only exception to these rules is the case of a Pawn on either of the Rook's files, where the player of the single King, if he can once get before the Pawn, will always draw.
Besides these general rules, there are one or two minor points, a knowledge of which may frequently be found useful in a Pawn End Game:
1. A King and guarded Pawn, provided it be not a Rook's Pawn, and have not been moved, will, in most cases, win against a King, as the player of the superior force can generally gain the Opposition by moving the Pawn one or two squares, according to circumstances.
2. Two Pawns, in any position (except doubled Pawns), will always defend themselves against an unaided King, provided they cannot be immediately attacked, since, if one be taken, the other will go to Queen.
KING, MINOR PIECE, AND PAWN AGAINST KING.
Of course, in all ordinary situations, the King and Pawn, with the assistance of a Bishop or Knight, will win easily against the King. Positions are, however, of not unfrequent occurrence in which the unaided King will be able to draw against the minor piece and Pawn, when the latter is on one of the Rook's files.
A King, Bishop, and Pawn on the Rook's file, the eighth square of which is not commanded by the Bishop, cannot win against a King, unless the latter can be prevented from getting before the Pawn. The following will serve to illustrate this:
Black King on K B sq. The game here is drawn, whichever side has to move, as it is clear that Black's King cannot be prevented from occupying the Rook's square.
QUEEN AGAINST ROOK. The Queen wins easily against a Rook; all that is necessary is to force the King away from the Rook; after which, the latter can always be won by checking with the Queen, attacking the Rook on the diagonal at the same move.
The few positions where the Rook can draw against a Queen are dependent on the power of forcing a stalemate.
QUEEN AGAINST PAWN.
Black Pawn on 27th.
1. K to Kt 7th The object of White is to force the black King to the front of his Pawn, and prevent it queening; thus giving him time to bring up the white King. 2. Q to Q 3rd
2. K to B 8th 3. Q to Q B 3rd (ch)
3. K to Q 8th 4. K to K 4th
4. K to K 7th 5. Q to K 3rd (ch)
5. K to Q 8th 6. K to Q 3rd
And Queen takes Pawn next move. The exceptions to the above are when the Pawn is on either of the Bishop's or Rook's files. In the case of a Bishop's Pawn, with the adverse King at a distance, the game is invariably drawn, owing to the power Black possesses of forcing a stalemate. The following will make this evident:
Black Pawn on K B 7th.
K to R są
When the Pawn is on the Rook's file, with the white King as near as in the previous position, the Queen will win by the following line of play :-,
This Ending requires considerable dicety of play, in order to queen the Pawn, and, at the same time, to avoid perpetual check.
The following well-known position, by Mr. Lewis, is a beautiful illustration of this :
Black Queen on Q R 2nd.
1. K moves (best) 2. K to Q 8th
2. Q to Q R sq (ch) 3. P queens, and wins
If White moved his King to Q 8th before playing Q to Kt 4th, Black would move Q to Q R 4th, and prevent the Pawn moving.
If the player of the Pawn can make a second Queen, of course, he generally wins. Exceptions are, however, of by no means rare occurrence, where the single Queen can force a perpetual check.
The following occurred recently to the author in actual play :-
Black Pawn on Q Kt 7th.